Contemporary Chinese Studies: Gender, Voice and Change Conversation with Maria Jaschok, August 2014

Vanessa Maher
This interview is partly an intellectual biography of Maria Jaschok, a renowned scholar of contemporary China, partly a rare account of the changes in Western approaches to the study of China over the past fifty years. It also touches on relationships of mentoring and collaboration among scholars and in the field. Prominent themes are the history of gender studies, the question of "muted groups" and "voice" and the valuable international networks established since the Seventies by the Oxford
more » ... es by the Oxford Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, comprising anthropologists who later founded the International Gender Studies Centre, of which Maria Jaschok has been Director since 2000. The Centre has been based at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, since 2011. were ready to publish: first we had to do exhaustive research and field work. The very geographical area we had to cover was enormous because the Muslim community is scattered all over China. Working through the feminist and the gender studies literature in order to follow up my particular interest in the organisation of space and the collective organisation of women, I encountered the publications by members of the Centre for Cross Cultural research on Women and in particular Women and Space. Ground Rules and Social Maps edited in 1981 by Shirley Ardener. Of course, the series was very interesting. I noticed the authors and the editors of the series who were working closely with Berg publishers. On the theme of women and space I felt I needed to raise some issues. I wrote to Shirley Ardener, hoping my letter from China would get to her. Of course, Shirley being Shirley (I didn't know her at the time) not only replied in due course via airmail. She also suggested, in her wonderful way, "By the way we're also running research fellowship programs and if you were ever so inclined you might find that our Centre could provide you with a place to write, resources and a community of support".
doi:10.7340/anuac2239-625x-173 fatcat:u2abuu2ehzhbdi5ijdrtp66j7m